In this season of all things spooky, it seems logical to think of fear as a choice. We can put ourselves in positions to be intentionally scared, or if we’re caught off guard, we catch our breath and laugh it off. Nothing to actually fear, right? So we push it away.
Truth is, we’re all kind of scared, though. No really, pretty much all of us, and it doesn’t have anything to do with black cats or skeletons or goblins, et. al.
As a human being, you’re kind of flying blind. You’re making choices every day, large and small, that are adding up to this thing called your life. You’re balancing, and sometimes battling, your head and your heart. You’re weighing pros and cons, analyzing data, and seeking advice. Sometimes you’re flat out guessing or flipping a coin.
You probably don’t always feel scared, but every now and then, it catches up with you. You realize you’re traveling without a map, and you’d really like to just know what to expect so you could make the “right” choice. It seems unfair, doesn’t it, that you have to figure every minute of this out as you go along? It doesn’t always feel like a sweet ride, and it would be nice to see some of the bumps coming.
Add to that the fact that none of us actually knows how we got here, or what happens next, and pretty soon you’re having an existential crisis over what to eat for lunch, or whether lunch even matters. (It does, by the way. Don’t make me call ya mama. Eat your lunch.)
So yes, this life thing can feel scary sometimes. As a result, we humans are wired to seek reassurance and certainty where we can. In other words, the vast majority of us are inclined to play it safe. Err on the side of caution. Play not to lose. You get the idea. Why?
Because we’re scared.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t take risks, though. It does mean that we prefer it when other people agree with them, however. It also doesn’t mean that we aren’t making decisions, either. It’s just as difficult as ever, these days in particular, to avoid the temptation to let fear influence those decisions — or even more so, not to allow our fear to be manipulated in making those decisions.
You are human. Uncomfortable emotions, including uncertainly, anxiety and fear, are going to be part of your life. You don’t have to be scared of them. They also don’t have to be lasting fixtures of your existence.
Breathe, realize that being uncomfortable hasn’t done you in yet, and then, take the next step forward. Think, speak, and most of all, decide for yourself.